Friday, July 30, 2021

Nostalgia for Soviet Times Doesn’t Extend Beyond Elites to Most Russians, Especially Those under 35, Makarkin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 23 – Russians of a certain age and status are delighted to see American defeats much as their Soviet predecessors were to see them a generation or more ago; but even these attitudes have less to do with nostalgia than with a desire for revenge against the United States and the West, Aleksey Makarkin says.

            But what is most important, the Moscow political analyst says, is that even the drawing of such parallels, a form of nostalgia in and of itself, does not extend to the Russian population as a whole and especially to Russians under 35 whose vision of the world was not formed by life in the USSR (

            Compared to the older elites, “the next generations, those under 35 live already in another reality, without nostalgia and without pleasant or not very pleasant memories of the past,” Makarkin says. They are ever more concerned not about the past but about their “own present and the future of their children and grandchildren.”

            As a result, at the present time, he concludes, “Soviet nostalgia is characteristic of two otherwise opposed groups: ‘the reds’ (communists) and the national-patriotic subculture, on the one hand, and elites and sub-elites who react to this, on the other.” Nostalgia for all the talk about it is not something  informing how all Russians now think.

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